The Mozambican government is reportedly studying the viability of unifying the licences offered to new mobile operators and internet service providers (ISPs) wishing to enter the country’s telecoms market, AllAfrica reports. Interviewed by Maputo-based daily newspaper Noticias, Paulo Zucula, minister of transport and communications, suggested that the issuance of several different licences for the provision of telecoms services has ceased to be rational, commenting: ‘We are working hard on technological convergence. Nowadays it is not necessary to have one operator for fixed phones, another operator for mobile phones, and another for transmitting images. Cell phones can work with voice, images and data’. Zucula believes that unifying the licences will save both time and money, by reducing the number of procedures companies would have to go through in order to obtain a concession. Questioned as to when more operators would be licenced, Zucula said: ‘I can’t say when we will have new operators, but the population is growing and, as a result, so is the market. I don’t know if we will continue to hold tenders every time a new operator wants to come in’.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in stark contrast to the new plans revealed by Zucula, when the National Communications Institute of Mozambique (INCM) staged its most recent licence tender, Vietnamese military-backed Movitel was obliged to submit an elaborate technical proposal as part of its bid to secure Mozambique’s third mobile phone licence. Movitel’s technical proposal scored 95.05 points, outclassing rival participants TMN (77.8 points) and UNI-Telecom (76.78 points). Despite not offering the highest financial package of the three bidders, when the technical and financial components were factored together, Movitel still emerged ahead with 96.437 points; UNI-Telecom scored 86.547 and Portugal’s TMN 80.764.